Turkmenistan plans to start exporting natural gas to China in 2009, Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov said on Friday.
He said the diversification of energy transportation routes to world markets was a priority for the country, whose natural gas reserves are estimated at 24.6 trillion cubic meters. Construction of the Turkmenistan-China gas pipeline began in August 2007 in the special economic zone of Bagtyyarlyk, on the left bank of the Amudarya River, which is being developed by China Natural Petroleum Corporation. Under a deal signed in April 2006, China is due to buy an annual 30 billion cubic meters of Turkmen natural gas over 30 years. (rian.ru)